Have you ever experienced the burden of living a lie. Whether a small or a big one, the burden of having a part of your life not really how you feel it should be. You secretly want something else, but don’t dare to go for it. You don’t dare to let the truth out. These secrets take energy and they wear you out. All that pretending and trying. And yet we keep them in because we are afraid of what might happen when we let it all out.
I used to live a lie, but mostly I was lying to myself. Convincing everything was OK so I would not have to go through something I perceived horrible. Like a divorce. Like changing a career direction after the age of 30. I used to pretend to love things I didn’t, just because I thought that would be somehow easier. But it wasn’t, by far. When the truth finally came out, it was the best thing there ever was. Shiny and new, my savior.
Looking back, I wish I had owned up to my truth much earlier. But I did not know how.
Recognize the truth of you
The first step to freedom is recognizing the truth about yourself to yourself. This is often the hardest part. Opening up to what is right for you, no matter how inconvenient it may seem at the time. Allowing to answers to come through without blocking them with intense fear. We convince ourselves of so many things just to keep things as they are. Just to avoid the horror of change and the unknown.
But if you are honest, you will recognize who you really are. You can slowly start to reveal to yourself who you are, and what you would really like to be doing with your life. Who you would really like to be with, how you would like to live.
It can be painful, like letting go of a pre-set future you have grown attached to. Saying goodbye to children that never were, and corner offices that would never become yours. But after all, your truth is just that, your truth, and it will not change. It will not bother you less if you ignore it, you’ll just have to run harder and faster if you want to keep it at bay.
Once you allow yourself to hear the truth, you will realize that you don’t have to justify it to anyone. It’s no less valuable than anybody else’s truth. Inconvenient as it may be, living a lie is much more inconvenient.
No clue how to start? Follow your feelings. They are the soul’s way to speak to us. Follow where the joy is, and where the sorrow comes from. Move away from the sorrow and towards the joy. What feels good, what feel right. What makes your body relax and the weight drop from your chest?
Tell your truth to others
Ok, so you have figured it out. You know your truth, at least about certain hot topics in your life, and you have come clean to yourself. The next step is to tell your truth to others.
How others may react to our truth is really not so much our business. We think it is, but it’s not. If I live a lie, how can it be best for someone else? If I no longer love you, you are better off with someone else. We are only responsible for the truth we have, and living the truth we feel is right for us. Of course this does not mean we cannot be diplomatic about things. But truth, there’s not much space for arguing about it.
So take a deep breath, and voice your truth. Say it, out loud. Trust it to be the best thing for you, and the other. Eventually, anyway.
When everything is out on the table
So why will the truth set you free? Because it is pure freedom. Nobody can argue with it, nobody can convince you otherwise. When the ugly truth is finally on the coffee table, you’ll realize that it’s not that ugly after all. It’s liberating. We keep things inside because we want to protect others, but from what? From truly getting to know us? From truly being able to live their truth as well?
People will surprise you. You will underestimate people.
I will always fondly remember one particular conversation with my first boss. I was at a place where I did not like my job and I wanted to change. It took me a long time, until I could not hold the lie anymore, and I told him I wanted to do something else, to look for something else. He simply smiled at me and said: “Feel better now?” And I did. I felt so good I stayed for 2 more years.
Live your truth. Don’t be afraid to follow your feelings. Let them speak to you, and dare to listen. Your truth will always set you free, because truth is always pure. It’s unpretentious and has no other agenda, except to make you happy. To make you live your best life.
So, where are you going to start?